A few weeks back I took a poll asking Eagles fans which free agent target they coveted the most. To no surprise, the most popular answer was Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd. Byrd is a very talented player and the Eagles have a gaping hole at safety. Then there's also the fact Byrd played at Oregon, which is where Chip Kelly coached before coming to the Eagles. Many will argue Byrd is the Eagles' ideal free agent target.
According to reports from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, however, it's not a certainty Byrd reaches free agency. The Bills are reportedly working hard to re-sign Byrd to a long-term deal. If that doesn't work out, the Bills can place the franchise tag on Byrd for the second year in a row.
The #Bills still want to do a deal with S Jairus Byrd. If not, I’m told they plan to franchise tag him. Won’t let him get away for nothing— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 22, 2014
The Bills have the 12th most cap space heading into this offseason with over $20 million to work with. They have the money to keep him. And even if Byrd doesn't want to stay, the Bills can prevent him from leaving.
While nothing is official until a deal is signed or the tag is used, it might be time to scratch him off the list of Eagles' free agent options.